Monday 29 November 2021
Back in office after resignation
Sweden chooses Andersson for the second time
Sweden’s new head of government has had a turbulent week: Andersson is elected within a few days, then her coalition breaks up. It has now been confirmed wafer-thinly for the second time and will head a social democratic minority government in future.
Magdalena Andersson has been elected Prime Minister of Sweden for the second time within less than a week. As before, the vote in parliament on Monday was extremely tight: 101 MPs voted for the Social Democrat, 75 abstained and 173 voted against – to become head of government in Sweden it is enough not to have an absolute majority of 175 MPs is rejected.
Andersson will head a purely social democratic minority government. The 54-year-old former finance minister should officially take up office on Tuesday, making her the first woman to head government in Sweden. Andersson was elected head of government for the first time by parliament last Wednesday – and resigned only a few hours later because her governing coalition broke up in the dispute over the draft budget.
Before her first election last week, the Social Democrat won the support of the Left Party for her planned coalition government at the last minute – and promised a pension increase in return. However, because of the concessions to the left, the small Center Party withdrew its support for Andersson’s budget. This then failed in parliament.
“An important day”
Instead, the MPs voted for the budget of the opposition – consisting of the conservative moderates, the Christian Democrats and the far-right Sweden Democrats. Andersson indicated that he wanted to rule with the budget of the opposition – in protest against a budget that also bears the signature of the right-wing national Sweden Democrats, the Greens then resigned from the government. “Last Wednesday was an important day and today was an important day,” Andersson told reporters after the vote. This time she was “perhaps better prepared for the fact that he would be emotionally charged”.
Andersson only took over the leadership of the Social Democrats at the beginning of November after the former party and government leader Stefan Löfven resigned. With the move, he wanted to give his party, which was in the low in the polls, better chances in the parliamentary elections next September.
His successor at the head of government will face difficult times up until then: Your party has only 100 of 349 seats in parliament and is closer to the center-right opposition than its cooperation partners on some politically sensitive issues such as the fight against crime and immigration. Together with the Greens, the Center and the Left Party, it also only has a wafer-thin majority of 175 seats in parliament.